messiah singalong chester christian chorale logo

The Artists


Robin Leigh Massie, has established herself as a versatile artist in opera, concert and musical theatre.  She made her New York City Opera debut as Flora in Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of The Screw.  She has also performed with the Tulsa, Kentucky, Glimmerglass and Princeton Opera companies. In musical theatre, she performed the role of Jellylorum in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s CATS in Hamburg, Germany.  She has also sung with the Bucks County, Pocono and Gateway Playhouses and toured South America singing the role of Christine in Ivan Jacobs’ The Phantom of the Opera.  

In concert repertoire, Robin performed annually with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for 19 consecutive seasons in Yuletide Celebration.  She has performed with the Utah Symphony Orchestra in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass for the farewell concert of Maestro Keith Lockhart, the MasterWorks Festival Orchestra in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, and with The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah. Other performances include the Susquehanna Valley Chorale, The Bucks County Choral Society and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with The New York City Ballet.  She is also featured as the soprano soloist in Mozart’s Laudate Dominum on the 1996 Chesky Records recording Like As a Hart with Joseph Flummerfelt and the Westminster Choir.

A native of Austin, Texas, Robin has a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Westminster Choir College and a Master of Music Degree in Voice/Opera Performance from Yale University.  She also serves on the voice faculties of both Cairn University and Westminster Choir College of Rider University.  Soli Deo Gloria!

HEIDI KURTZ - Mezzo-Soprano

Heidi Kurtz is a native of Pocomoke City, Maryland. She is a core member of the Philadelphia Singers and recently appeared with them as the soloist in Mozart’s Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore. She has also performed as a soloist with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Singing City and Vox Amadeus.

Ms. Kurtz has made several solo appearances at the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival in Harrisonburg, Virginia including Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion and B minor Mass and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Since 1999 she has been a guest artist with the Chester County Christian Chorale in their performances of Handel’s Messiah. She has appeared on several recordings, most recently, The Shattered Mirror, a chamber opera by Michael Udow. She is the soprano soloist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill ( Philadelphia) and has sung solos there in works by Fauré, Mozart and Vaughan-Williams, among others.

Ms. Kurtz holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Mennonite University and continued her studies in Temple University’s Vocal Performance Master’s Degree program. She currently resides in Philadelphia with her husband and two sons.


Tenor Timothy Bentch’s first singing experiences took place practicing scales on the tractor and in the silo as he worked on the family farm and singing in his local Mennonite church. Eventually his singing led him to a master’s degree at the acclaimed Curtis Institute of Music. For twelve years he lived in Hungary serving as a missionary and an opera singer. He sang at all the leading venues in this country appearing before presidents and prime ministers with many television appearances and radio broadcasts. At the Hungarian State Opera, he premiered new productions as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Belmonte in The Abduction, Nencio in L’Infeldelta delusa by Haydn and the Evangelist in a semi-staged version of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion. Other roles with the Hungarian State Opera include Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Tito in La Clemenza di Tito, and Alfredo in La Traviata. His performed opera repertoire of over 40 roles also includes such roles as Mozart’s Mitridate, Nemorino in The Elixir of Love, Edguardo in Lucia, Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, Ismaele in Nabucco, Fenton in Falstaff, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, four roles by Benjamin Britten, and numerous baroque operas – Jupiter in Semele, Nero in The Coronation of Poppea, Monteverdi’s Ulyssis, and Orfeo – a performance that marked the opening of the new theater in the Hungarian National Palace of the Arts in 2005. His performances have taken him to many other countries including the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Russia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, France, Malta, Israel, Russia, the UK, and Germany.

In symphonic repertoire, he has performed the entire standard repertoire from renaissance and baroque to the large works of Mahler and Verdi. Highlights have included the Evangelists in the Bach Passions, the Dream of Geronius by Elgar, and Mahler’s 8th Symphony which he recorded for Naxos. His recording was lauded by critics winning the “Recording of the Month” by Sterophile Magazine. Bentch’s performance was described as “bright, confident, and heroic, and his “Blicket auf!” is stunning.” Another critic wrote, “Bentch’s top B-flats and Bs are as heroic as his sweet singing is sweet. His “Blicket auf,” a moment that can cause fear and trembling, is stirring in all the right ways.” A review in the BBC Music Magazine praised Timothy Bentch’s “heroic tenor” as one of the saving graces of a recording of Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the Warsaw Philharmonic. He has sung with the philharmonic orchestras of Lille, Strasbourg, Avignon, Saint Petersburg, Sofia, Warsaw, the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, the Ars Nova Symphony in Chicago, the Silicon Valley Symphony in San Jose, CA, the South Dakota Symphony, the National Symphony of Costa Rica, and the Hungarian National Philharmonic. Recent performances include the Britten War Requiem with the HNP, the Evangelist in the Saint Matthew Passion in Hong Kong, and the Verdi Requiem with the Costa Rica National Orchestra conducted by John Nelson.

Timothy is the co-founder of the Crescendo Summer Institute ( in Hungary, a classical music festival, now celebrating its 16th season. He was also active as a voice teacher and his former students sing in many of the leading opera houses of Europe. In recent years he has devoted more time to pastoral ministry. He has a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and is currently Lead Pastor at Souderton Mennonite Church.


Steven Condy enjoys a career filled with notoriety and acclaim for his creative portrayals of the great “buffo” roles and is admired not only for his robust and nuanced voice, but also for his natural acting ability.  This season, Mr. Condy reprised the title role of Don Pasquale with the Brevard Festival Orchestra and joined the esteemed roster of The Metropolitan Opera for their production of La bohème. Renowned for his interpretation of Dr. Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia, recently, the Boston Music Intelligencer raved of his “most delightfully surprising and truly brilliant performance…the agility of his voice, not only in negotiating the vocal roller-coasters, but also in creating comically nuanced coloring….” The title role in Verdi’s Falsaff is another signature role in Mr. Condy’s repertoire, which he performed at companies such as Utah Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera San José, and most recently, Opera Delaware. Of his Falstaff, Opera News hailed his performance as “hilariously larger-than-life yet a totally believable and sympathetic Sir John.” This season, he will perform the role of Scarpia in Tosca with Opera Carolina, as well as Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Grand Rapids.  He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Hartford and a Master of Music degree from Yale University’s School of Music.  He also holds the position of Music Recruitment and Events Coordinator at Cairn University, where he also serves as adjunct faculty and co-director of Opera Theater.

CLAIR H. LEAMAN, Conductor

Clair received his Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was a member of the world-renowned Westminster Choir. He has studied choral conducting with Robert Simpson, Robert Carwithen and Arthur Sjogren. Clair founded the Chester County Christian Chorale in 1976 and has since conducted the group in numerous performances of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and other choral works. For over 30 years , he has organized and conducted the Messiah Sing-a-longs in Chester and Lancaster Counties.


The players in the orchestra are individually selected to play for this event. Many are current or former players in the Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, or Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia. In addition to playing with these orchestras, some of them teach privately in the Philadelphia area while others are employed as church organists and choir directors or have full time careers in instrumental performance.


Most of the choir members do not know each other when they come together to sing Messiah. Since there are no rehearsals, there are some individuals who know the music very well (some even have it memorized). Others are less familiar with some parts of it. The one thing they have in common is a love for this great work. Since there are no rehearsals, individuals come from a great distance for this opportunity to participate.